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Saturday, October 15, 2016

I Really DID Live Through The Wool Festival

So it looks like I broke the internet.  I finally put together a blog post yesterday and right as I was close to publishing it a major Verizon tower went down and the entire area was without intertubes until early this morning.  Oops... :-o

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Friday?!?  I really not sure where the week went. Heck, I'm not even sure where the summer went! The Kentucky Wool Festival went really well.  We could not have had better weather, the crowd was the second largest in 34 years (somewhere around 50,000 over the three days :-o), saw lots of old friends, made some new ones, sales were good, nothing got pinched and I think everyone had a great time :-).

As always, I had tons of good help.  Miss B and Miss L helped get the booth components ready ahead of time.  Auntie Reg and Stella worked in the "sweat shop" getting everything packaged and labeled. Saint Tim did his usual herculean job getting all my printing ready and the four legged family, for the most part, stayed out of trouble.

Tim covered farm duties, a Unit driving neighbor came over to doctor on T-Bone's leg (horrible dew poison this year :-o), Miss B and Always Amazing Aaron answered questions throughout the day and helped get new spinners started with their drop spindles and Auntie Reg did a great job basically tripping people coming into the tent and sending them in to buy stuff ;-).  

I am Not. Good. at "selling myself".  Oh, if you come in the booth and ask me a question, I talk until your eyes glaze over.  Having to go up to you and say "Hey, look at all this cool stuff I (and our sheep) made to try and support my bad sheep habit!"... I don't know why I can't do that.  And it's important.  This is what pays for the hay, straw, grain, shearing, vet bills...  Luckily I have a great team.  I appreciate everyone way more than they can even imagine!

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I figured too many days had passed to do a booth tour, but I've had several requests from friends who couldn't be there, so here goes.  I missed a few things taking pictures.  I had so many bags of roving that we pretty much had to tie the booth together to keep it from exploding, but you'd never know by these pictures.  The funny thing is two of us were taking pictures and we both missed that and a couple other things.  

I loved having the raw wool out front.  It was pretty, attention getting, folks were looking for wool at the "wool festival" (it's primarily a huge craft fair with tons of great food and live music) and didn't smell up the booth.  I personally love the smell of raw wool, but as the temps climbed on Friday, it would have been a bit much for non sheep people perhaps ;-).

The usual card display.  What am I going to do with a 13th card next year?  

Volumes 1 and 2 of the Mug Shot Mugs.  

I actually made some felted sheep!

And wool wreaths, which Miss B did a fabulous job embellishing with all sorts of flowers she gathered their garden and fields again this year :-).

I made quite a few medium size wreaths, too, and even figured out an ornament size wreath...that neither B or I took a single picture of...and there were 24 of them in the booth!  How on earth we missed them and all the roving...

Punkin's Patch swag.  I think this design is really cute, but non blog readers didn't "get" it.  That's okay.  I'd rather they were "ours" alone anyway.  If you don't know who Punkin or Miss Ewenice or B. Willard is...

You know what I just realized?  There are no pictures of the Equinox Farm and Lamb Camp calendars!  Now I'm wondering if I'm missing files on my camera card.  This just makes no sense...

Edited to add:  And while I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the internet to come back yesterday I realized that there were also 24 Maisie Orneries and 24 Ornerie kits that neither Miss B or I took any pictures of.  That's a lot of stuff in a small area to miss getting in a picture somehow!

Anyway, back to the tour...

I had a super cute vintage Ashford Traveller for sale, but it was too crowded to set it out where someone could really try it.  It belongs to a friend's mother who is down-sizing and she has a regular and jumbo flyer, extra bobbins, a copy of Paula Simmons Spinning and Weaving With Wool and it is tuned up and ready to go back to work in case anyone is interested.  

We sold 20 spindle kits!  As I ordered another 100 wooden wheels last month to make them, I realized that I've made over 200 spindles over the last 10 years.  That's kind of crazy in a sort of exciting way.  If even 10% of those folks stayed with it (like Miss B did :-) that's 20 new spinners! Definitely not a dying craft.

These are the prettiest wool balls I've ever made.  I almost hated to sell them, but what on earth would I do with 150 wool balls?!?  Inside joke - that's my most common question "What do you do with a wool ball?"  I just consider them neat decorations, but most were buying them for dryer balls. Anyway, they were made from the tiny throw away fleeces from Levi's cousins who got shorn this fall.  Perfect! 

Once again, my favorite part of the booth was the digital picture frame.  One thing I forgot to do was update the photo file, so we re-watched the same 2000 (!) pictures I used last year.  No matter.  I was happy to see the oldies.  If you don't already have a digital frame, go get one.  Just priceless to be able to watch and watch and watch.

Punkin's Patch.  All from one little lamb.  You know, sometimes the whole thing just seems unreal.  As the sun set and the night lights came on and the really good bands started playing while the dinner crowd grew and I was finally able to stand still and catch my breath and look around, I couldn't help but wonder a bit.  How did all this happen?

If you'd have asked me 25 (or so ;-) years ago what I'd be doing with my life, raising sheep and being a fiber artist teaching people how to spin yarn would never have crossed my mind.  Never.  I don't really know what I'd have said, but I can promise you it would not have been that.  What a privilege.  

I appreciate everything way more than anyone can even imagine!

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